When H and I first met he was already a Blood Donor, and being in the first flush of romance I decided to join him on a Blood Donation session. Perhaps I thought he would be impressed, as I wasn't too keen to partake. We both lay side by side on some couches with our arms out, hosting a needle in our veins, attached to a tube leading to a pint bottle receiving our blood.
Before you could say ‘Jack Robinson’, H’s bottle was full with his arm bouncing up and down, whilst mine was only ¾ full. The attendants then came over to me and started squeezing my arm to fill up the vessel, and I thought ‘blow this for a lark, this is not for me’ pressing my arm to drain out my blood!
H being the fellow he is has continued to give blood throughout his life. At the start he gave 4 pints a year, now revised to 3 pints. If in the interim he had travelled to somewhere like Africa or South America then he could only give a pint when 6 clear months had elapsed following his return home.
I mention all this because in the last few days H gave his 75th pint of blood – known as the Emerald Award. Now he is not looking for rewards, but has noticed fellow donors walk off with crystal plates and decanters when they reach the top echelons of the blood donation world. When his blood had been taken, H mentioned to the attendant that he had been expecting some comment. She pointed to a box lying on the end of the stretcher, and said ‘that is yours, you can open it when you’re having your cup of tea’.
He decided to bring it home and let me open it. Because the box was so light I wondered if it was a T-shirt - given the blood got the T-shirt, perhaps it was a scarf with blood donation symbols of hearts all over it!
When the box was opened out came this very small ring sized box, and inside was revealed an enamel lapel badge.
It was a non-event, and not a moment to savour.
On further investigation we found a little note tucked away in the corner of the box saying he would be invited to a presentation, so maybe there is more to come!